The current classification for a neurological disorder which was once called Shy-Drager syndrome is known as multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension. It is a progressive disorder of the central and autonomic nervous systems and can be characterized by orthostatic hypotension which leads to dizziness or fainting. The condition can take place without orthostatic hypotension but instead have urinary involvement. The condition is classified into 3 types by doctors: Parkinson-type which includes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like slow movement, stiff muscles and tremor; cerebellar-type, which causes problem with coordination and speech; and combined type which has symptoms of both parkinsonism and cerebellar failure.
There has been no cure developed for multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension. The treatment for the condition aims at controlling the symptoms. Anti-Parkinson medication like Sinemet can improve the overall sense of well-being. Medicines to treat high blood pressure are also given.
Most patients who suffer from multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension do not survive over 7 to 10 years after the onset of the symptoms. Problem in the respiratory system is usually the cause of death.
Image courtesy: Getty Images